B2B sales involve multiple people. With the use of third-party sources that people can trust, it creates substantial benefits for these companies ranging from short-term sales to more significant deals. It may also lead to increase in revenue and leads.
As you develop a relationship with influencers and internal experts, your B2B company can get into resources that offer numerous benefits.
Influencer marketing promotes non-marketing voice to your content and tap into the expertise not present in your marketing department. It also increases the reach of your brand’s content through influencer’s networks and communities.
Well-known companies, such as IBM, Apple, and Starbucks, work with influencers for their content marketing efforts. You should follow their strategy too. But how?
1. Build a strong relationship with influencers
The most significant challenge of a B2B company when using this marketing strategy is how to get influencers’ attention and engaging them. For some brands, building a relationship with influencers is a vital part of their marketing campaign. But with a weak relationship with them, it’ll translate it as a half-hearted promotion.
To boost the ROI of your campaign, make sure that influencers will love your brand. No matter how great your product offering is, you need to approach the influencers and interact with them properly.
2. Follow them on social media and blog
In this way, you avoid a cold influencer outreach campaign. In here, you’ll test the waters. By following their every post on social media and blog, you’re trying to make them notice you.
Like, share and comment on their post. However, when you comment, it must be insightful. It must add value to the post. Doing so will help the influencers recognize you when it’s time for you to approach them.
When you interact with them at first, make sure that it’s your personal account that’s been interacting and not your brand. Influencers don’t like communicating with a brand unless yours is well-known.
With a person, however, it’s much easier for them. Your goal here is to make the influencers grow fond of the face of the brand.
However, before you leave a comment on their post, review their past posts first and find out whether or not they respond to comments. If they don’t respond, then you might try a cold outreach.
It’s also ideal to participate in open-ended questions from relevant influencers. In here, they engage with their followers by asking them questions. Grab that opportunity and participate in it.
3. Reach out to relevant influencers
Relevance is vital to ensure that your influencer marketing succeeds. It’s beneficial for your brand as you need to reach out to a receptive audience. For influencers, it’s profitable for them because they can provide their audience with relevant content.
In a survey, researchers found that one of the biggest motivators for influencers to interact with a brand is if the opportunity is relevant to their fans. They will also work with the brand more if they think that it understands their interests.
Thus, if you have a clothing brand, you must partner with fashion influencers. If you’re in the weight loss business, partner with fitness buff influencers.
4. Allow them to maintain their authenticity
When you build a strong relationship with relevant influencers, you should give them creative freedom. In this study, it found that the most important thing for influencers when working with a brand is maintaining their authenticity. For them, they must remain honest and open to ensure that their audience is engaged.
If you have a restrictive content guideline, your influencer campaign might not succeed. But if you give them creative freedom, they’ll work with you more than once.
In other words, you should let your influencers be honest about themselves. Restricting them will only ruin your relationship with them. Furthermore, it’ll eliminate whatever authencity that’s in the campaign. With the lack of authenticity, they lose trust in your brand.
Apple, for example, works with various influences to promote their campaign. But it encourages the influencers to be with their creative selves. It’s more authentic than trying to explain the campaign.
5. Make your customers into influencers
It’s true that industry experts are great influencers. But don’t forget your customers. They, too, can be your biggest influencers. That is, use your customer quotes and endorsements.
For example, if you're marketing the rental property, you can write an article published under your client’s name. But make sure that the client approves it. What’s the advantage? Your readers will trust your brand because of what the client wrote.
However, avoid writing product pitch. Instead, the post must talk about the problem that the client has faced and how he solved it.
If you implement influencer marketing for your campaign, make sure to look at your short-term success, such as demos and inquiries and long-term relationships with the fans of the influencers.
Word of mouth marketing from a solid brand influencer relationship can already pay the dividends over time. It also outweighs the results from the short-term campaigns.